New agricultural land rules will support farming families in the Langley area

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LANGLEY – New Democrat MLAs Megan Dykeman and Andrew Mercier say new rules will add flexibility and increased housing options for a small secondary home in the Agricultural Land Reserve. The additional residence can be used for anything from housing extended family to an agritourism accommodation, to housing for farm labour, to a rental property for supplemental income.

“As a farmer, I have experienced both the challenges and benefits of operating a farm in an area where a large proportion of the land is in the Agricultural Land Reserve. By providing more flexibility and increased options for farmers in the ALR, these new rules will support farming and promote local food security while enhancing the local economy,” said Megan Dykeman, MLA for Langley East.

“This is great news for the Valley,” said Andrew Mercier, MLA for Langley. “There is so much to offer in terms of work opportunities and agritourism in Langley and this change to the rules will make it easier to accommodate those folks and help farmers keep doing the good work they do.”

The new rules will increase stability of local food systems by increasing economic opportunities for farm owners. These changes will also allow for a streamlined approval process in which applicants only need to apply to a local government or First Nation government, rather than the Agricultural Land Commission.

Flexible housing options permitted under the regulation include, but are not limited to:

  • garden suites, guest houses or carriage suites
  • accommodation above an existing building
  • manufactured homes
  • permitting a principal residence to be constructed in addition to a manufactured home that was formerly a principal residence

There is no longer a requirement that additional residences must be used by the landowner or immediate family members.

This new residential flexibility is the result of an engagement process that included discussions with farmers and the greater community. The new rules will come into effect December 31, 2021.

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